So I’m on my way to the airport to catch a flight to Dallas for a $30 million presentation. I’ll be there for precisely 6 hours before jumping on a plane to go home. I have to submit the budget for my team next week and still haven’t figured out what we are going to talk about in our team meeting on Monday. I have 11 meetings next week all over the map, so I’ll be putting in about 500+ miles in the car. I need to call that recruiter again because I still haven’t received enough resumes for the sales position I need to fill on my team in Phoenix. There are 3 proposals that need to go out this week, and I have to schedule that implementation meeting. I haven’t even begun to go through the material for our Global Conference in Argentina in 2 weeks. I still need to call that client back about the reports that need to be fixed. And I have to fit in reviews with my entire team somewhere…. AHHHH!!!!
Yes, take a long deep inhale and a long deep exhale. That’s better. Time to get my butt over to yoga!
Jumping into my car at the end of this crazy work day, I check the traffic on my sigalert app. It’s yellow, which means that I’ll barely make it before the class starts. I’m exhausted from the flight, but I really need some “me” time.
I get to the yoga studio just in time. Everyone is sitting on their mats but the class hasn’t started yet. I take off my shoes at the door and find a spot to unroll my mat. I sit down on my purple mat, close my eyes and start to breathe in and out through my nose. Long deep inhales, long deep exhales. Ahhh… sweet relief! Inhale healing beautiful energy, exhale everything that is not serving me. Let go of everything that happened today. Let go of my responsibilities and my to-do list. This time is just for me. This is the most beautiful gift I can give myself. Time on my mat, reconnecting with my body, breath and spirit. Nothing else matters.
For the next 90 minutes, I focus on linking my breath to the movements between one pose and another. It’s just me and my mat. I listen as the teacher reminds me to be present in the moment. Be conscious and aware of the feelings in my body. There is no competition, not even with myself. It doesn’t matter what the person on the mat next to me is doing. Honor how I feel today, and don’t worry about how I felt yesterday or 2 months ago or 10 years ago. This is MY practice, and it’s all about the here and now. Yoga is about accepting myself just as I am. It’s about loving myself and opening my heart to love others. Breathe…
My body floats from one pose into the next, enjoying every moment of delicious heart opening stretch. And it feels so good to stretch out my legs… my arms… my back… my feet… my fingers… my torso… my neck… breathing into the space that is opening up in each pose. I consciously bring oxygen into every part of my body. And when I come upon my edge in a stretch, just breathe life force into it and find a way to relax into the pose. Ahh, there. It’s amazing how much I open up and release when I stop struggling. There’s a life lesson in that, I’m pretty sure.
As the class comes to a close, I sit on my mat and close my eyes for a short meditation. Imagine a white light in the center of my heart. It gets bigger and brighter with every inhale. As I exhale, imagine this beautiful pure white light radiating through my entire body. It expands around my torso, then up my neck to my head, and down my legs to my feet. As I inhale, this beautiful light gets brighter and brighter, swirling around me, creating a cocoon of protection. I feel so calm, so safe, so at peace. Now I imagine this white light spreading all around me, until it fills the whole room. Now this beautiful white light expands beyond the walls, and spreads all over the world. I’m filling the whole world with this loving white light that is pouring out of my heart. I’m so happy. Just breathe. We now end the class saying “Namaste” to one another… “I honor the place in you where the light resides. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.”
I roll up my mat and grab my shoes as I walk out the door with a blissed out smile on my face. I am so grateful for my yoga practice. It’s the one place I can always go to turn the world off, even just for an hour. It’s my place for me, and there’s nothing like it. It’s gives me peace amidst the chaos. It’s gives me balance when I’m teetering on the edge. It gives me strength to find the opportunities in every challenge. It gives me the space to see clearly and it reminds me of who I really am.
Now I can face tomorrow knowing that I can always come back to this beautiful place. What a blessing!